January 2016 Issue - page 10

Page 10
January 2016
PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
Congress has passed and the
President has signed a multi-year
national highway bill known
as the Fixing America’s Sur-
face Transportation Act, or the
FAST Act. The bill reauthorizes
the Federal Highway Admin-
istration’s Recreational Trails
Program (RTP) for the next five
years and provides $85 million
annually for the program.
The last highway bill was
set to expire in December and
Congress has been working on
various versions of a national sur-
face transportation bill for most
of this year. During the process
several unsuccessful attempts
were made to eliminate the RTP
program from the bill.
“Grassroots support from
recreational trail users, includ-
ing many equestrians, played an
important role in making sure
RTP was included in bill,” said
American Horse Council vice
president of government affairs
Ben Pendergrass.
Since its inception RTP has
provided money for thousands
of state and local trail projects
across the country, including
many that benefit equestrians.
RTP provides funding directly to
the states for recreational trails
and trail-related facilities. It is
funded with a portion of the gas
taxes paid into the Highway Trust
Fund by recreational off-highway
vehicle users.
To learn more about the
program and find information
about contacting your state RTP
administrator for guidance on
State policies and project eligibil-
ity requirements visit
.
fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recre-
ational_trails/. You can also look
up the projects funded in your
state in the RTP project database.
The AHC has advocated for
the RTP program since its incep-
tion and is an active member in
the Coalition for Recreational
Trails (CRT). CRT is a federation
of national and regional trail-re-
lated organizations formed exclu-
sively to build awareness about
and protect the RTP program.
“Governors still have the
option to opt out of the program.
This year only Connecticut has
done this, but it is important that
recreational riders stay vigilant
against any attempts to eliminate
the program in their state,” said
Pendergrass. “Additionally, if
you have a trail project in your
area you would like to see receive
funding the AHC encourages
you to visit the RTP website and
contact your state RTP adminis-
trator.”
Recreational
Trails Program
Reauthorized
Did you know…
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